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The ins and outs of citizenship

October 31, 2006

Re "The cost of citizenship may go up," Oct. 29

Fees for processing citizenship papers will be oppressive for "lower-income, less-educated immigrants." Who wants "lower-income, less-educated immigrants" as citizens anyway? We do not need more welfare, uncompensated healthcare, English-as-a-secondlanguage programs, public housing or prisons. Our country has many unemployed citizens, low-income senior citizens, sick citizens without health insurance and other low/modest/middle-income people who have earned the care and attention of our government. When our legal citizens receive the help they have earned, then we can consider the less fortunate of other nations.

GEORGETTE CAMMARATA

Manalapan, N.J.

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You take at face value the U.S. Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services' claims that it has dramatically reduced the number of pending applications for naturalization. Much of the reduction is due to creative accounting. Hundreds of thousands of naturalization applications that are awaiting FBI name checks, sometimes for months or even years, are no longer counted as part of the backlog.

Until the government gets its house in order, it is disingenuous to declare that the backlogs have disappeared.

CARL SHUSTERMAN

Los Angeles

The writer is a former Immigration and Naturalization Services citizenship attorney.

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